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Campaigning for Youth Justice: Fifteen Years in the States

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaigns Director Monday, 21 September 2020 Posted in 2020

The Campaign for Youth Justice will be closing in December. We could not be more proud of the success we have had along the way, especially in our campaign states. Check out the first in our series of blogs by CFYJ's State Campaigns Director, Brian Evans on our 15 years of progress and why it's important to get ready to #VoteYouthJustice on National Voter Registration Day.

Reducing, limiting, and ultimately ending the prosecution of children as adults has required a lot of work to achieve legislative changes in the states. During the past 15 years, as we at the Campaign for Youth Justice have pursued this work, 40 states and Washington, DC, have changed their laws to reduce the number and mitigate the harm of charging children as adults. More than half of the states have enacted multiple reforms, and, as a result, the number of children prosecuted as adults each year has dropped from around a quarter of a million to, in 2015, about 76,000. This number is likely significantly lower now, as since 2015 four states (LA, NC, NY, SC) have implemented raise the age laws that ended the automatic prosecution of all 16 and/or 17-year-old youth as adults. Two more states, Michigan and Missouri, are set to implement “Raise the Age” laws next year.

Youth Justice Action Month is October – Just 2 Months Away!

By Brian Evans, CFYJ State Campaigns Director Wednesday, 05 August 2020 Posted in 2020

The challenges of this crisis-packed year have at times been overwhelming, but it is important to remember that all the emergencies of 2020 have significantly impacted youth justice. 

There have been campaigns to free children from juvenile or adult detention facilities where the risk of contracting COVID is disproportionately high, campaigns to free our schools from the harmful presence of police officers whose actions widen the school-to-prison pipeline, and campaigns to confront racist violence in our bloated and over-funded police departments – violence that is often directed at our children.

How You Can ACT to End Racism

Kathryn M Allen, CFYJ Communications Fellow Thursday, 30 July 2020 Posted in 2020, Across the Country

Written by Kathryn Allen, CFYJ Communications Fellow

Racism is not a new phenomenon. The very founding of the United States happened on the backs of enslaved Africans, brought to this stolen-land to build the wealth of white land-owners. From slavery to the Jim Crow Era, to Mass Incarceration and police brutality, Black people in the United States have always been treated as less-than.  Latinx folks, Native Americans, and other People of Color have their own traumatic histories of being othered, killed, and robbed of their identities. This oppression stretches into the present in new and troubling ways, with Black folks facing disproportionate boundaries to career advancement and wealth-building tools, and disproportionate negative health outcomes. In the Juvenile Justice world, we see Black and Brown children more often sentenced to time in detention, and transferred to adult courts than any other racial group. 

Still Marching

Amber Joyner, CFYJ Operations and Development Assistant Thursday, 23 July 2020 Posted in 2020

Written by Amber Joyner, CFYJ Operations and Development Assistant 

123 lives lost (that we know of) since the murder of George Floyd. Read that again. 123 lives lost, families forever changed, and communities in mourning.

The air felt hot, full of smoke, people were running from either tear gas being sprayed by the police, smoke bombs, or their batons. If you looked at the scene you would think it was the 60s or 70s. 100s of men in full military armor, guns loaded and pointed at a crowd full of people, a public outcry of grief, anger, and desperation for a change, for our humanity to be recognized…

CFYJ 2020 Summer Reading List

Kathryn M Allen, CFYJ Communications Fellow Tuesday, 30 June 2020 Posted in 2020

Written by Kathryn M Allen, CFYJ Communications Fellow

There has never been a better time to read.  Between the great pause of COVID-19 and the powerful moment we are experiencing in the fight for racial justice, the Summer of 2020 presents an opportunity to better ourselves and expand our thinking through literature. The team at the Campaign for Youth Justice has compiled a list of 13 books that will expand your knowledge of the Criminal Justice System, Juvenile Justice, and the Black experience in America. Happy reading!

Just Billy

Billy Harris, CFYJ Board Member Thursday, 25 June 2020 Posted in 2020, Uncategorised

Written by Billy Harris, CFYJ Board Member

Being incarcerated at the age of sixteen has many inherent nightmarish realities of its own. Also being a gay youth struggling with self-identity issues made it a living nightmare that I often felt would crush me.  

Juneteenth 2020: A Day On To Address Systemic Racism

Aprill O. Turner, CFYJ Vice President of Communications Friday, 19 June 2020 Posted in 2020, Across the Country

A Day to Reflect on the Resilience of Black Americans in the Face of Ongoing Systemic Racism In Our Criminal Justice System

A Day to Reflect on the Resilience of Black Americans in the Face of Ongoing Systemic Racism In Our Criminal Justice System

Written by Aprill O. Turner, CFYJ Vice President of Communications


Today is the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, which commemorates the effective end of slavery in the U.S. In 1865, nearly two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, federal troops arrived in Texas and told enslaved people that they were finally actually free.

Help CFYJ Support State Reforms This Father's Day

Marcy Mistrett, CFYJ CEO Thursday, 18 June 2020 Posted in 2020, Across the Country

Written by Marcy Mistrett, CFYJ CEO

This weekend is Father's Day and the Campaign for Youth Justice celebrates and recognizes the amazing dads, grandfathers, and other men who have served as role models and mentors to so many children.

While some exchange gifts, watch baseball, or enjoy a special dinner with their fathers, others are not as fortunate to spend the special day with loved ones. CFYJ recognizes all of the children who are incarcerated as adults who won’t be able to spend time with their fathers this year. 

Adultification of Children, Racism and Police

Thursday, 04 June 2020 Posted in 2020

Statement from the Campaign For Youth Justice

This week, communities across the country are taking action against the brutal deaths of black men and women by law enforcement.  The loss of life of George Floyd (MN), Breonna Taylor (KY), David McAtee (KY), and  Ahmaud Arbery (GA) by the hands of those meant to “serve and protect” has led to protests and calls for change that are among the biggest this country has ever seen; with action in more than 200 cities in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and across the globe. 

The Campaign for Youth Justice stands in solidarity with the calls to end these brutal killings, dismantle the structures that uphold racism, and redefine our country’s values based on justice, fairness, and love.

Black. Lives. Matter. 

Survey: 52% Drop in Admissions to Youth Detention in Two Months Matches Reduction over 13 Years

Special Report from Annie E. Casey Foundation Wednesday, 03 June 2020 Posted in 2020, Research & Policy

Special Report from Annie E. Casey Foundation

Special Report from Annie E. Casey Foundation

The rate of young people admitted to detention has fallen by 52% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey of juvenile justice agencies in 33 states — equaling in two months a national decline that took 13 years.

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